It wasn’t anywhere near where the “experts” wanted it. Joe Biden certainly wanted to see better results. Democrats in Congress are still really worried, but for now at least, it looks like inflation is starting to take a bit of a pause. For now.
The April numbers came in this week and showed that inflation has cooled a bit. Back in March, inflation was hitting at an 8.5% clip. That slipped to 8.3% in April as prices only rose by 0.3% during last month. That’s overall. And the drop was not near where the “experts” thought it would end up. They felt that it would be closer to 8.1%, not the 8.3% it ended at. There were several things that caused it.
You may have noticed in April that gasoline took a drop of about 40 cents a gallon. Of course, by the beginning of May, it was back up to where it had been, so that’s nothing to really crow about. What is still disconcerting is that gasoline prices are up about 45% since last year at this time. Of course, Biden is blaming it all on COVID and Vladimir Putin. Except we don’t buy much oil from Russia, and COVID was actually responsible for a decrease in oil prices under Trump. So, why the increase under Biden? Simple. He doesn’t like oil.
You won’t find much relief at the grocery store. Food prices were on a tear, rising about 0.9% in April alone, and up about 9.4% in 2022. Since last year, food prices have risen over 10%. What is also a harbinger that this inflation cycle isn’t over is that in March, “core goods” (which is retail goods other than gasoline and energy) was only up 0.3%. That boosted to a 0.6% increase in April. That also translates into a 7.2% increase for core goods for the year. That’s not healthy.
Basically, if you take gasoline and energy prices out of the mix, you’re going to see us on track for a 10% inflation rate for the year. That’s also not very inviting. Democrats are scurrying to try and find a solution before November. It’s the worst bout of inflation we’ve dealt with since 1981, when Ronald Reagan was finishing cleaning up Jimmy Carter’s mess of a presidency. And it will most likely take a new president to clean up the mess Joe Biden is leaving behind.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!